11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East

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Workshop Bietak/Prell

The Enigma of the Hyksos

Organizer: Manfred Bietak (Austrian Academy of Sciences) / Silvia Prell (Austrian Academy of Sciences)


The exact geographical origin of the Hyksos, ruling the north of Egypt in the Second Intermediate Period, the process of their coming into power and their role in history still remains an enigma, as the period is poorly represented in texts. Nevertheless, the Hyksos phenomenon has thus far mainly been studied by text-based Egyptology, ignoring other possible sources, like archaeological remains, burial customs, settlement patterns, comparative architectural studies or biological data. In the last decades excavations in Egypt‘s eastern Delta have produced new information and one can now, together with finds stored in museums all over the world, resort on huge quantities of objects reflecting the material culture attributed to the carriers of the Hyksos rule as well as related physical remains. These materials were thus far largely left aside in the scientific discussion, but can be used as first class historical sources.
The workshop’s aim is to shed new light on recent research like archaeological and architectural analyses, cultural interference studies, new onomastic studies as well as DNA analyses and other scientific methods. Based on the ongoing investigations of the team of the ERC Advanced Grant “The Enigma of the Hyksos” first results will be presented and the discussion and exchange with other specialized scholars is going to result into a closer approach to the origin of this western Asiatic population, their dialogue with the host country, the impact on the culture of Egypt and finally their heritage.


Manfred Bietak (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Cydrisse Cateloy (Panthéon Sorbonne University / UMR 7041 – VEPMO)
Marta D’Andrea (Sapienza Università di Roma)
Silvia Gomez Senovilla (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Jozef Hudec (Slovak Academy of Sciences)
Nina Maaranen (Bournemouth University)
Sylvie Marchand (IFAO)
Anna‐Latifa Mourad (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Silvia Prell (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Elisa Priglinger (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Arianna Sacco (Leiden University)
Maura Sala (Sapienza University Rome)
Thomas Schneider (University of British Columbia)

Holger Schutkowski (Bournemouth University)
Christina Stantis (Bournemouth University)
Sarah Vilain (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Anna Wodzińska (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw)


9:00 Marta D’Andrea: Before the Cultural Koiné: Contextualizing Interculturality in the “Greater Levant” during the Late Early Bronze Age and the Early Middle Bronze Age
9:30 Manfred Bietak: Tracing the Origins of the Hyksos Elite of Egypt as seen from a Comparative Study of Sacred and Palatial Architecture
10:00 Silvia Prell: So-called “Warrior Burials” in the Fertile Crescent
10:30 Silvia Gomez Senovilla: Urban Morphology and Urban Syntax at Tell el-Dabʿa
11:00 Coffee break
11:30 Anna Wodzińska: Tell el-Retaba during Second Intermediate Period. Pottery and People
12:00 Sarah Vilain: Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery? New Light on Local Productions Inspired by Cypriot Wares at Tell el-Dabʿa during the Second Intermediate Period
12:30 Cydrisse Cateloy: Imported Levantine Amphorae at Tell el-Dab'a: A Volumetric Approach to Reconsider the Maritime Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Christina Stantis / Holger Schutkowski: Bioarchaeological Investigations of Hyksos Identity and Origins
14:30 Nina Maaranen: Hidden in Bones - Tracking the Hyksos across the Levant
15:00 Jozef Hudec: The Second Intermediate Period Cemetery at Tell el-Retaba
15:30 Arianna Sacco: Connecting the Dots: Using Network Analysis to Examine the Second Intermediate Period
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Anna‐Latifa Mourad: The Transformation of the Egyptian Storm God in the Second Millennium BC
17:00 Elisa Priglinger: “One ticket to Egypt please!” – Possible Reasons for Human Migration during the First Half of the Second Millennium BC